Using science to create NZ’s future

Here's a great opportunity to engage your students and community in  a game-based conversation about the future of NZ. Pounamu is a free, online game set in a future world where EVERYONE in New Zealand can use science as easily as they can use a computer now. Anyone can play; from primary school students to research scientists, from young entrepreneurs to kuia and koro. The game will be live on 29-30 August, from midnight to midnight – all you need to do is register now to be able to access and participate.  Players post micro-forecasts (concise ideas – 140 characters, like … Continue reading Using science to create NZ’s future

A parent guide to 21st Century learning

I've just been reading this new guide published by Edutopia, titled A parent's guide to 21st Century Learning. As with much of the material published on the Edutopia site, this is a really useful collection of tips, ideas and links for parents and educators alike (and I qualify on both fronts 🙂 The ideas in the booklet are grouped according to the age of the students, and use the “4Cs” from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a framework for emphasising the educative value of the learning resources that are shared. Collaboration: Students are able to work effectively with diverse groups … Continue reading A parent guide to 21st Century learning

Adventure in your community

it's always useful at the start of a school year to come across resources that might be useful in the school programme. This one from National Geographic Education came to me through TES Online, and is intended to support Geography Awareness week (which I wasn't aware existed).  The parent guide provides an excellent overview of the sorts of activities and challenges you can set kids to do – it would make a superb resource for teachers also to incorporate some of these activities into a classroom programme.  The resource is designed to invite individuals or teams of students, families, or … Continue reading Adventure in your community

Sustainability Film Challenge

With an increasing emphasis on the use of film and media in schools it’s always useful when there’s an opportunity to put those talents to good use as part of a challenge or competition. The NZ National Commission for UNESCO is a project partner in the Outlook for Someday sustainability film challenge for young people aged up to 24 years, making it idea for consideration at the senior secondary or tertiary level. The challenge is to make a short sustainability related film, in any genre, filmed with any camera and at any length up to a maximum of 5 minutes. … Continue reading Sustainability Film Challenge

Global Population Growth I’ve just spent a couple of days working with some wonderful teachers in Hamilton, as part of two different cluster meetings. In my presentations to these groups I referred to the trends in population growth, and the considerations for us as educators of this on issues of globalisation, cultural awareness, language learning etc. in our future planning. It was with interest that I saw the link to the video above from TED, featuring Hans Rosling on Global Population Growth. I really like this presentation for two reasons… it presents the issues in a very visual and entertaining manner, providing … Continue reading Global Population Growth

Global VC on climate change

This morning I participated in a global linkup of students from Opotiki and from Linwood College, Rangi Ruru Girl’s College, Christ’s College and Shirley Intermediate in Christchurch to discuss the effects of climate change on indigenous peoples. We were linked with others from Alaska, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, the Arctic and USA in the video conference which was organised  at the NZ end by CORE Education together with Canadian social networking organisation TakingITGlobal. This all came to pass after I began corresponding with Terry Godwaldt after reading reference to his work on a blog post. I was impressed with … Continue reading Global VC on climate change

Breathing earth

My daughter sent me a link to Breathing Earth a week or so ago, and I’ve had it on the list of things to explore since then. Breathing Earth provides real-time simulation displays the CO2 emissions of every country in the world, as well as their birth and death rates.The data used for the simulation has been gleaned from a variety of sources, including CIA World Factbook and United Nations Statistics Division. The creator of the simulation emphasises that this is purely a simulation, and that data that measures things on such a massive scale can never be 100% accurate … Continue reading Breathing earth

Ten Trends at Learning@School09

The Learning@School conference is rollicking along in Rotorua at the moment, with keynote speaker on day one, Andy Hargreaves, setting the scene with challenges to us all about the need to take account of the whole context and culture of our school when considering change and development. Pam Hook had the audience spell-bond also with her “Hooked on Thinking” ideas and strategies. Unfortunately for me I am missing the conference, and have had to rely on my Twitter feeds, text messages and the odd call to keep me posted. Having made it to the opening of the conference I’ve had … Continue reading Ten Trends at Learning@School09


The growing interest in a global energy crisis and the drive to find alternative fuels and ways of conserving our existing energy sources is a hot topic at the moment, and one that provides an excellent context for theme-based, cross-curricular learning at all levels of the school. I’ve blogged previously about resources that have been developed for use in schools, including Electrocity, a simulation focused on energy use in the city and PowerUp, a 3D virtual world with an environmental focus from IBM. The latest I’ve discovered is EnergyVille, (referred to me by Clarence Fisher via Twitter). EnergyVille is an … Continue reading EnergyVille

World Environment Day – schools wanted to participate

World Environment Day is looming – Wednesday 5 June – and to celebrate this event schools from throughout New Zealand and around the world are being invited to make a pledge and decide on some sort of eco-action to make a difference in some way. These ideas and actions can be submitted on the WED Website. Every New Zealand school, wharekura, kura, early childhood education centre, and kĹŤhanga reo can use this website to share their plans to contribute to a sustainable future and participate in World Environment Day (WED) on 5 June 2008. Overseas schools can also share their … Continue reading World Environment Day – schools wanted to participate